Living Deanwood

Living Deanwood is a living building design Washington DC’s historic Deanwood neighborhood. The project features 10 affordable homes, a community garden, a pocket park, and a community center.

The theme of the EP Exhibit 2016 is It Takes a Community. Selected projects showcase the best work from young designers highlighting community impact and engagement.

Living Deanwood is a new community designed for Washington DC’s historic Deanwood neighborhood. The project features ten affordable homes, a community garden, a pocket park, and a community center. The design uses the Living Building Challenge as a framework to promote human well-being in communities at a variety of scales: The City, the Neighborhood, Living Deanwood, the Family, and the larger Community of Ideas. The concept focused on specific recommendations determined during a thorough and expansive community engagement process as part of the Deanwood/Deanwood Heights Neighborhood Investment Plan.

Community of the City

Living Deanwood addresses the city’s critical need for new affordable housing which was recognized as the primary goal during the community engagement process. Nine of the homes have three bedrooms to serve families which have been underserved in the recent housing boom in Washington D.C. The rain gardens and pervious paving provide beautiful open spaces and mimic natural hydrological conditions. This low-impact-development strategy naturally manages storm water, which is a growing challenge in the city. Additionally, rooftop collection and cisterns are used to create a net-zero water system.

Community of the Neighborhood

Living Deanwood is designed to reflect the character of neighboring architecture and is in walking distance from a key commercial node outlined in the neighborhood plan. The ample street parking in the neighborhood eliminates the need for parking on site and a new bikeshare station offers another transportation option for the residents. Living Deanwood also includes a new community center, neighborhood park, and community gardens located at the termination of the Dix Street corridor into Marvin Gaye Park. These community amenities will house financial education and health classes which are being developed in response to the community engagement process.

Community of Living Deanwood

Through everyday interactions on porches, backyard barbecues on the weekends, early morning gardening or special events at the community center, Living Deanwood creates a community where residents know their neighbors and have an invested stake in the safety, health and prosperity of the community. The site utilizes shared resources to maximize efficiencies and achieve economies of scale. For example, the 8 kw polycrystaline photovoltaic, roof mounted array paired with microinverters generates enough power for net-positive energy.

Community of the Family

An open plan on the interior coupled with intimate outdoor space and a generous garden help strengthen family through meaningful interactions. The high performance envelope and efficient active systems support the family by reducing costs for utilities. To create a healthy environment for families, the homes feature natural ventilation and minimize the use of materials known to be harmful to human health.

Community of Ideas

Living Deanwood will be a model of high quality affordable housing that supports rather than degrades the environment. By sharing building practices and performance metrics, Living Deanwood will serve as a synergistic resource for the allied fields of affordable housing and green building. The project also addresses global sustainability goals by reducing the embodied carbon footprint, promoting responsible industry, and prioritizing local materials.

Image credits

Living Deanwood

Christopher Winnike, AIA, Brittany Williams, AIA, and Eric Hull

Living Deanwood

Christopher Winnike, AIA, Brittany Williams, AIA, and Eric Hull